Processes and structures in intergenerational programs: A comparison across different types of programs

Jiska Cohen-Mansfield*, Aline Muff

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Objectives: Given the widely acknowledged benefits of intergenerational programs (IGPs), we compared processes and structures across different IGP types and explored potential areas for improvement. Design: Thirteen IGPs were classified into three types: arts, learning, and assistance programs. Data were collected through direct structured interviews and analyzed quantitatively and qualitatively. Setting: Participants were recruited from community-based IGPs in the greater Tel Aviv area of Israel. Participants: Eighty-four older participants (OPs), 97 younger participants (YPs), and 21 organizers were interviewed. Measurements: Questions included participant demographics as well as closed- and open-ended questions regarding processes based on the Impact of Intergenerational Programs Questionnaire (IIPQ). Analysis: Responses to closed-ended questions were compared among IGP types and age groups using two-way ANOVAs for ordinal data, and chi-squares for nominal data. Responses to open-ended questions by OP, YP, and program organizers about potential areas for improvement were analyzed using thematic analysis. Results: Processes in need of improvement were preparation and guidance, length of program participation, and monitoring of activities, which differed across IGP types and age groups. These processes were related to broader structural problems such as lack of resources, organizers' poor employment conditions, and inadequate public services for older persons in Israel. Conclusions: Our study highlights the complex relationships between IGP types, processes, and structures. IGP processes and goals can be hindered by structural variables such as insufficient funding, infrastructure, and public services for older adults.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1297-1308
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Psychogeriatrics
Issue number12
StatePublished - 9 Dec 2021


FundersFunder number
Ministry of Senior Citizens in Israel
Minerva Foundation


    • intergenerational programs
    • older adults
    • program evaluation
    • public services for older adults
    • younger adults


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